JOHNSON CITY - Marsha Jayne Cutshaw Harper, 78, Johnson City, Tenn., died Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Tranquility Hospice, Marietta, Ga., after a brief illness.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Rudy Ervin Harper and sister Janet Cutshaw Martin in 2013, and by her parents, Jay M. and Margaret T. Cutshaw in 2009.

Mrs. Harper was born in Norfolk, Va., and grew up in Elizabethton and Johnson City, Tenn., graduating from Training School on the East Tennessee State University campus in 1961. A four-year member of Beta Club, she was voted Most Intellectual in her senior class.

Mrs. Harper graduated from ETSU in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in English and History.

At ETSU, she was a member of and officer in Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, participated in All Sing, Homecoming and other campus activities and worked with the Girl Scouts. For a short time, she worked in Bryson City, N.C., inspiring a lifelong affection for the Great Smoky Mountains.

She was married in August 1966, and afterward, moved to Ft. McClellan in Anniston, Ala., where her husband was stationed in the Army. In 1972, they moved to Sarasota, Fla., where both had long careers in education.

Mrs. Harper taught at and served as director of Little Pilgrim Preschool in Sarasota until her retirement.

In 2003, the couple moved to Crossville to live at Fairfield Glade, where they enjoyed their retirement years with friends and family, notably Phil and Becky Harper Merritt and Bobby and Linda Harper Compton.

Among Mrs. Harper’s favorite pastimes were reading voraciously; working the New York Times crossword and Word Jumble, which she could always finish; and enjoying the birds and wildlife when she wasn’t watching a murder mystery, sitcom or Tom Selleck show.

Mrs. Harper is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Christie Harper of Smyrna, Ga.; a daughter, Paige Harper of Atlanta; one sister, Lisa Cutshaw, Johnson City; two beloved grandchildren, Payton and Wyatt Harper of Smyrna, Ga.; two nephews, Joel Blake of the home, her Wheel and Jeopardy companion, Darrel and Lori Compton and Lorie and David Rheinecker of Knoxville, Amanda Merritt Kowal, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Jay Martin, Oxford, Ga.

No services are planned, but Mrs. Harper had requested that her ashes be released on Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains.